The future is upon us


The unforgettable and sobering film The birds by Alfred Hitchcock does not end with a stunning sunrise, where the sun shines a new day because every threat has disappeared, and the protagonists, after the horror of the senseless attack of the birds, once so harmless, they wake up to a happy life, without more jolts. On the contrary. The birds are still there, by the thousands, on roofs, in the electrical lines in the pavement of the streets, because there is only a truce. They will return to attack. It is not known when, but they have not made peace with anyone.

Perhaps it is one of the best similes to imagine the future after this critical phase of the pandemic coronavirus, whose end begins to catch glimpses of this already in some countries, as happened in China, and plans made for the return to normal life. But there will be a cut scene of the night of terror, toward the dawn clean of threats, and most well we will have to get used to living with the invisible enemy, beware their stalking and looking to keep it at bay, knowing he is among us. There will be fundamental changes immediate not only in the global system of production and consumption, but in social relations, and in the limits and the changes that will have the public life and in community, as we have been accustomed to carry it until now.

To greet each other by shaking hands, kissing on the cheek, can be already a thing of the past, because the rule to avoid the contagion of a virus that we will not know if you have already gone, or has mutated, or has been replaced by another more aggressive, it will be the social distance. We will live under other rules until a few months ago is not suspected. A virus has had the power to provoke a more radical change in the ways in which we relate and conduct ourselves that the one caused by the technological revolution based on the digital paradigm.

Will we ever sit side by side in the cinema room in the dark with someone you don’t know and who will never stop suspecting if it is carrying active? Can you imagine a stadium full of thousands of fans rooting on their football team from the stands, or a concert of pop music mass, as the Woodstock? What will be the parameters of fun and entertainment? How do you work the bars, the gyms, the restaurants? Do we have confidence in the hands of those who prepare food in the kitchen that we do not see, and in the hands of those who we bring to the table? And what about the trains, the subway cars? The mass tourism, offering havens to hand cheap, the best is frozen. Boarding a plane, such as is happening already in China, will become a process of sanitary control, it is tedious for rigorous. Cruises. Never before had we seen ships wandering full of travellers who may not dock at any port because the plague makes them undesirable, like in the movies.

Will we ever see the classrooms full of students or distance education will become increasingly favored? Forms of to buy in large spaces, the mall, which converts the clusters of shops in real amusement parks, and the Black Fridays, invented in the united States, that carried the people up to the paroxysm, give step to distance sales, which were growing from before, and soon you will be accustomed to the drones landing in the courtyards of the houses, carrying clothes, appliances, food. Books. What will be the fate of bookstores?

The entity Board of Innovation has issued a document of estimates for that future just around the corner, called To an economy of little contact, based on the changes that will operate in the modes of production and in the needs and consumption habits, but that have to do with the social rules, and with the simple fact of how much we will be in contact with each other. The premise is simple: “until a vaccine or immunity collective, the baseline scenario is a continuous increase and decrease of interruptions in the form in which we will work and live over the next two years, which will result in new habits after that.”

The measure of closeness, or distance, will have to do with the social systems, public safety, employment policies, migration, control of borders, globalization, and even be able to affect the political models. And the democracy. The authoritarianism and demagoguery, you know to take out the nails in the crisis. So much will come from novels dystopian, where they represent worlds undesirable, and the social controls contradict the parameters of individual freedom that cautelan democratic societies.

You can stop in the middle of the street, not for carrying an artifact terrorist, but because your body temperature is not normal, as indicated by the thermometer installed in the helmet of the police officer. Or the one who develops symptoms and is left in quarantine, controlled in your home by using a shackle, like the one that is obliged to carry the prisoners on bail. Minority Report. But what will happen in the poor countries? The evidence that we live in a world of two floors will remain as a never nude, as is already lagging the precariousness of health systems, the deficit abyss of hospital beds, respirators.

The recession, which will affect the rich countries as never before since the crash of 1929 will have devastating effects on the weaker economies, and unordered, where the new rules of social conduct to distance will not be easy to establish, because the reality of daily life contradicts them. Do distance education without personal computers? Do you work at home occupations informal force people to go out into the street in search of livelihood? Does social distance, where there is overcrowding? The future, so far away, is upon us.